These words today
On my way back from
A meeting in Chapel Hill
On a wall on a Chinese restaurant
Near one of my favorite bookstores
I’m not sure about the graffiti on top
Echoed on the dumpster of the gas station
Across the street
But “Kill Trump” reads clearly
Wrong-headed and unAmerican
(A label I generally despise)
Oppose Trump, yes.
March in the streets, if that’s your thing.
Protest his every action, if you must.
Hold him accountable to the constitution
He has not yet sworn to uphold
By whose authority we elected him.
But do not threaten violence.
Do not deface property.
Do no harm, and permit no harm to be done.
Remember Keisha Thomas
Who used her black body like a shield
Protecting a man wearing a symbol
Of oppressing black bodies
Refusing to allow violence against him
Even from – especially from – those on her side.
Remember Amina Amdeen
Who proudly wore her hijab
As she stood up between attackers
And a giant protester carrying a sign
Declaring himself “Proud to be Deplorable”
Protected by her loud voice and her tiny body
Take them as your example.
Protest, yes. But do it peacefully.
Disagree loudly and proudly and insistently
But do it without violence.
And if others refuse to do so,
Put yourself in harms’ way to
Insist on peace and nonviolence.
Stay on the high road.
Cling to the right way.
Scream and yell your anger.
Lament and wail your sadness.
Speak up and speak out and
Stand up tall – get in the way.
But every time
Go high when others go low.
Even when those others
Are on your “side.”
Stand tall. Stand up.